The Friends of Valkenberg serves the patients and staff of Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital. How exactly do we do this? Through our 60+ volunteers, the Friends works in conjunction with hospital staff to provide a range of services designed to bring hope and comfort to patients during their stay at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital; meeting needs and helping patients along the road to recovery. This means that people are able to return to their families, their jobs, and their communities.
Our projects are categorized into five groups:
- Meeting basic patient needs: Never underestimate the power of clean clothing, transport money to go home, or a plastic bag with enough food to last a couple of days.
- Supporting patient recovery: Recovery doesn’t just come from medication. People also need to rebuild lost skills and develop the self-esteem that will take them back to their communities determined to make the most of their lives. The Friends of Valkenberg supports this recovery through a variety of volunteer-led projects aimed at building self-worth and independence.
- Facilitating patient recreation and connection to their communities: Celebrations are important: they hold significant cultural meaning for patients and staff, and the loneliness of not being able to celebrate with family outside of hospital is an unfortunate side effect of hospitalization.
- Supporting hospital staff initiatives and boosting morale: Working in a psychiatric hospital can be extremely trying, and the dedicated team of staff at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital deserve all the recognition we can give them.
- Raising awareness & destigmatizing mental illness: As much as progress has been made in understanding and treating mental illness, crippling stigma still affects those with mental health-related diagnoses or hospitalizations.
We forge relationships and collaborate with a variety of mental health organizations in South Africa. Information on our networks can be found here.